Public consultation on prosecuting cases of domestic violence
This consultation is now closed.
The CPS has a number of guidance documents for prosecutors on the management of domestic violence prosecutions. This document consolidates the two key documents currently available, providing assistance to decision makers in a streamlined and better structured way.
The guidance sets out a number of key issues which update the existing documents, explaining why prosecutors should take the approaches detailed. In particular, the document sets out:
- a detailed context of domestic violence and information decision makers will need to understand about the nature of offending, following the Government's change in definition to include coercive and controlling behaviour;
- streamlined and focused operational practices for decision makers when considering the evidential and public interest stages of the Full Code Test in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors;
- the approach prosecutors are encouraged to consider when handling cases where the victim has indicated they are not willing to support or continue with a prosecution; and,
- detailed considerations in relation to specific groups of people.
The document does not provide an interim position for CPS decision makers – the existing policy arrangements and guidance will remain until a final policy is published following this consultation.
We have identified a number of questions upon which we would particularly invite comment. These are as follows:
- Do you agree that the CPS approach to understanding the context of domestic violence is right and well-informed?
- Have we identified the right potential lines of enquiry for evidence gathering and the right public interest factors to be considered when the CPS makes a charging decision? If not, how can we address this?
- Do you think the guidance clearly sets out the basis for how we handle cases where complainants are not willing to support a prosecution? If not, please suggest how we could approach 'evidence-led' prosecutions (prosecutions continued without the victim).
- Do you agree we have properly outlined the safety and support issues affecting victims and how those issues can be managed by the CPS?
- Have we demonstrated sensitivity and understanding to the issues which may be experienced by victims from different groups? If not, please suggest how this could be achieved.
- Please let us know if you have any other comments.
When responding it would be helpful if you would complete the domestic violence consultation response form.
If you are replying by email, we would be grateful if you would not attach any other documents to the domestic violence consultation response form document. There are limits on the size of documents that we are able to accept and any completed response form document which has an attachment runs the risk of not being delivered. If you wish to send an attachment to us, please email us separately at DVConsultation2014@cps.gsi.gov.uk
If you use a special software program to read the guidance and you find that you have difficulty in reading it, please get in touch with the Team, whose contact details are set out in the How to Respond section.
If you would like to return your replies to the questions set out above by post, please download the domestic violence consultation response form document in Word format.
Both written and electronic responses to the consultation are acceptable, although we would prefer electronic replies on the completed response form.
Please be aware that if you complete and return this document by email, you will be responding over the open internet. If you would prefer, please complete and return the PDF version to the postal address given below.
Please include your name, organisation (if applicable), postal address and email address.
Closing date for responses: 09 July 2014
Responses can be sent by post to:
Domestic Violence Guidance Consultation
Strategy and Policy Directorate
Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters – 9th Floor
or by email to: DVConsultation2014@cps.gsi.gov.uk
The following consultation documents are available in Welsh:
Mae'r dogfennau ymgynghori canlynol ar gael yn Gymraeg:
- Download the consultation document on prosecuting cases of domestic violence in Welsh (Adobe PDF document - 741 kb)
- Dadlwythwch y ddogfen ymgynghori Gymraeg ynglŷn â Erlyn achosion sydd yn gysylltiedig a thrais yn y cartref. (Dogfen PDF Adobe - 741kb)
- Download the consultation response form in Welsh (Microsoft Word file - 19kb)
- Lawrlwythwch y ddogfen ymateb i'r ymgynghoriad yn Gymraeg (ffeil Microsoft Word - 19kb)
If you require a copy of this Consultation Paper in any other format, for example, audio or large print, please contact the postal address above.
We will consider every individual response received. A summary of the consultation responses will be published on the CPS website in accordance with the Government's guidelines.
The information you send us may be passed to colleagues within the CPS, the Government or related agencies.
Furthermore, information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information legislation including the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this it would be helpful if you could briefly explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not be regarded as binding on the CPS.
Please ensure your response is marked clearly if you wish your response and name to be kept confidential. Confidential responses will be included in any statistical summary of numbers of comments received and views expressed. The CPS will process your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 - in the majority of circumstances this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.
The key Consultation Principles are:
- departments will follow a range of timescales rather than defaulting to a 12-week period, particularly where extensive engagement has occurred before;
- departments will need to give more thought to how they engage with and consult with those who are affected;
- consultation should be 'digital by default', but other forms should be used where these are needed to reach the groups affected by a policy; and
- the principles of the Compact between government and the voluntary and community sector will continue to be respected.
The complete Consultation Principles are available from the Cabinet Office website (opens in new window).